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Game Preview: New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers, 8:30 PM, February 3

Knicks seek to sustain win streak with Lakers coming to town: Will they make it ten straight?”

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The New York Knicks (32-17, third in the Eastern Conference) welcome the Los Angeles Lakers (25-25) to Madison Square Garden for a nationally televised game this Saturday. When they last met, the Knicks defeated LeBron’s squad in Los Angeles, 114-109.

The Knicks are 15-2 in 2024, have won nine straight games, and boast an 18-5 home record this season. The Lakers have won six of their last ten games. They are 8-17 on the road, however, and may be without key players tonight.

On Thursday, a shorthanded Knicks squad played without Julius Randle (dislocated shoulder), OG Anunoby (inflamed elbow), and Quinten Grimes (sprained knee). With an eight-man (truth be told, mostly seven-man) roster, New York rallied to defeat the Indiana Pacers, thanks to a 40-point performance by Jalen Brunson and excellent play from his support cast. Their defense limited the high-scoring pacers to only 105 points.

In their last game, the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics, 114-105. With LeBron James out (ankle), Austin Reaves stepped up to score 32 points on 10-of-18 shooting, and made seven of ten three-point attempts. D’Angelo Russell added 16 points, 14 assists, and eight rebounds (on . . . 5-of-20 shooting). Filling in for the injured Anthony Davis (Achilles), Jaxson Hayes scored a 16-10 double-double. Jarred Vanderbilt injured his foot in the game, so Rui Hachimura filled in and will likely start tonight if Vanderbilt sits. And Taurean Prince should round out the starting five this evening. This season, his first with L.A., Prince has averaged 9.6 points and three rebounds while shooting 39% from deep on 5.3 attempts.

Prediction gives the Knicks a 66% chance to win. I like it. LeBron and A.D. are game-time decisions for the Lakers, as are OG Anunoby and Quentin Grimes for the Knicks. The Lakers rate 14th for defensive rating this year and play with pace, but are 20th for offense. Despite winning on Tuesday, the Knicks shooting was fairly horrendous, but that’s likely to boomerang back tonight. The resilient Knicks, led by the fearless Jalen Brunson are prepared to take on all-comers—and if OG returns to the line-up tonight? Pshaw. Ten consecutive wins. Knicks by +6.

Game Details

Who: New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers

When: 8:30 pm EST, Saturday, February 3, 2024

Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC

Watch: ABC

Follow: @ptknicksblog